Good morning, TeamUHN!

It is a pleasure to connect with you across care, research, and education through this weekly CEO update – all in service of A Healthier World.

Key reminders and updates

  • Last chance to nominate your colleagues for UHN's 2021 Local Impact Awards. The nomination categories for the Local Impact Awards are again aligned with UHN's Strategic Priorities. Submit your nomination by November 30 using this SurveyMonkey form.
  • Reopening of UHN Gyms. Starting Monday, December 6, 2021, gyms at Toronto General, Toronto Western and Princess Margaret will reopen with restrictions to members of TeamUHN. This is assuming no concerning issues emerge in the coming days related to the Omicron variant or a change in Provincial guidance regarding gyms. An online booking system will be available to gym members on Wednesday, December 1, 2021 to schedule workout sessions in the fitness centres. All details will be posted to the Wellness Homepage on the Corporate Intranet on Wednesday, December 1, 2021. I know this is welcome news for many who rely on exercise as a way to decompress and manage overall stress and well-being. As some resources reopen, others that helped support TeamUHN during the pandemic are closing. As of this Friday, December 3, all six Respite Centres and the Peer Support Line will wind down operations. I know many hoped to keep these in place, however staffing prevents us from doing so at this time. We will reconsider as we see fewer vacancies challenge us. My thanks to all the staff and volunteers who helped to make these important resources possible.
  • Holiday Gatherings at UHN. Cases of COVID-19 are rising in the province and there is potential for a significant increase as people gather for the holidays —­ not to mention the heightened anxiety related to the Omicron variant. There have been many questions about holiday gatherings onsite and, though we understand the wish to celebrate in-person with colleagues, UHN continues to discourage in-person gatherings as we try to find a balance between loosening restrictions and keeping patients, visitors and colleagues safe. However, UHN Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) has provided guidance for gatherings onsite, which can be found here (Corporate Intranet > COVID-19 Preparedness > IPAC). Please ensure to follow all criteria provided if you are gathering onsite.

What happened at the Executive COVID-19 IMS Table

In response to COVID-19, UHN activated its Executive COVID-19 IMS (Incident Management System) table. Membership includes our Executive Leadership Forum and other members of COVID-19 work streams. The group meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. This is a snapshot of the discussion.

Third dose advocacy for immunocompromised patients

  • Background: As third dose eligibility expands across the province, the Toronto Region is reporting low uptake of third doses among immunocompromised patients. This is concerning as this patient group is not only at risk of contracting COVID-19, but also of suffering severe complications of the virus.
  • Who presented? Susy Hota (Medical Director, IPAC)
  • What do I need to know? COVID-19 case counts are rising in Ontario and, with the upcoming holiday season, there is a need to enhance protection of our vulnerable patients. Given the strong recommendation for third doses to bolster immunity to COVID-19, those at greatest risk should be encouraged to get their dose as soon as they are able. Please make sure to share this important information with UHN patients who are immune compromised.

What happened at the Senior Management Forum meeting

UHN's Senior Management Forum (SMF) represents a broad range of voices and skill sets from across the organization and provides direction and oversight in service of patients, TeamUHN and our vision of A Healthier World. See the full membership on The Senior Management Forum is held on the fourth Thursday of each month.

Indigenous Health Program

  • Background and why this was brought to SMF: Indigenous people experience persistent health outcome disparities. Toronto data indicates 71 per cent of Indigenous adults avoid seeking care due to previous experiences of discrimination in healthcare and 28 per cent have ongoing, unmet health needs. Utilizing existing frameworks such as the Ontario Human Rights Code, Truth and Reconciliation Commission Calls to Action, and the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to guide its strategy, UHN's Indigenous Health Program (IHP) is working to improve access to high quality, effective healthcare for Indigenous people and ensure that Indigenous knowledge, values, and voices are present and respected.
  • Who presented? Michael Anderson (Strategic Lead, Indigenous Health Program)
  • What do I need to know? To honour the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, every September, UHN will affirm it's commitment to one of the Calls to Action from The Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC). This past September, UHN committed to enacting and being accountable to the TRC's Call to Action 22: “We call upon those who can effect change within the Canadian healthcare system to recognize the value of Aboriginal healing practices and use them in the treatment of Aboriginal patients in collaboration with Aboriginal healers and Elders where requested by Aboriginal patients.” Everyone at UHN has the ability to contribute to realizing this call to action.

UHN Compass

  • Background and why this was brought to SMF: The role of data and data-driven insights across UHN remains critical to all that we do. Enabling TeamUHN to access, use and understand our data is a foundational element to becoming a data-driven organization. UHN Compass is an online tool that will begin to consolidate our existing reports and build more focused real-time reporting for clinical program leadership. Enabling further insight into operational challenges, opportunities and strategic planning.
  • Who presented? Michael Caesar (Chief Data & Analytics Officer)
  • What do I need to know? UHN Compass has been created to help clinical programs have access to the reports they need to make informed, data-driven decisions and action plans. You can access it here. This work is the start of the alignment of all reporting tools that we have at UHN, and in the future will include alignment of new reporting capabilities in EPIC and the SAP financial system.

Synapse Presentation

  • Background and why this was brought to SMF: It is critical that all leaders at UHN and all of TeamUHN recognize that our successful clinical transformation is very much tied to the implementation of a new health information system. For UHN this is a top priority from now until our go live date – June 4, 2022.
  • Who presented? Brenda Perkins-Meingast (Director, Practice-Based Education)
  • What do I need to know? Recent accomplishments for Synapse include:
    • The second Team Readiness Tracking dashboard was released covering topics from October's Readiness & Engagement Forums on high-risk, high volume workflow topics
    • An upgrade was made to the November 21 version of Epic, which is the version that will go live on June 4.
    • Good progress is being made on Integrated Testing and mitigation strategies are being put in place to ensure all scripts are completed accurately.
    • Team Synapse welcomed a new Senior Application Manager, Hany Bestaorous, who will oversee Beaker, Cupid, Lumens, OpTime/Anesthesia, and other integrated areas.

Closing notes

Westwind Evening, a highly-respected Elder and Knowledge Keeper has begun the next part of her journey. She was much-loved by the team at UHN's Indigenous Health Program (IHP) and by many from the Tkaronto area and afar. She helped UHN on many occasions, most recently with the September Drum Gifting Ceremony, a June Honouring Ceremony, and the CWP Guideline, and has frequently been sought for her respected feedback on many initiatives. Read a statement from the IHP on her passing.

Seeking Honorary Diploma nominees for Michener's 2022 Convocation. Michener's Honorary Diploma recognizes and honours exceptional individuals who have made significant contributions to healthcare and/or post-secondary education, whose accomplishments provide inspiration, and who bring distinction to The Michener Institute of Education at UHN. Recipients include members of the public, former employees, former Michener and UHN Board members, public officials, and alumni. More information about the Honorary Diploma is here, and nominators can access the nomination form here. The deadline is January 28, 2022.

A shout out to the teams in UHN Digital, Synapse and all of the individuals working hard to bring on UHN's new health information system. This is Digital Health Week, which celebrates how digital health is transforming the delivery of care across Canada and it has special meaning this year as we work towards our 'go live' date of June 4, 2022 with Synapse.

December 1 is World Aids Day. We remember the many lives lost as a consequence of the HIV pandemic. We also give thanks to the clinical and research teams at Toronto General's Immunodeficiency Clinic for their tremendous work over the past 30 years to improve the quality and quantity of life for persons living with HIV. The dedicated clinic provides outstanding care to more than 1500 active clients and has a multidisciplinary team that deals not only with medical, but also psychosocial support. Our internationally renowned research team has participated in over 300 clinical trials of new agents and management strategies that have transformed HIV from an acute devastating illness to a chronic infection. Now many persons living with HIV can be successfully managed with a single pill per day, and life expectancy is approaching that of the general population. The battle is not over and we continue to work to evolve new treatment strategies, and to combat the stigma and discrimination still impacting those living with HIV.


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Have a good week,

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